After two straight weekends of beating and banging on short tracks, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads south to the behemoth Talladega Superspeedway for the GEICO 500.
The 2.66-mile tri-oval will play host to 40 of the sport’s best on Sunday, May 7, 2017. Being a restrictor plate track where the playing field is somewhat leveled, 42 cars are on the entry list for this weekend, an increase from the usual 38 or 39 we have seen this season.
Additions for this week include Elliott Sadler (No. 7 for Tommy Baldwin Racing), Joey Game (No. 15 for Premium Motorsports), Brendan Gaughan (No. 75 for Beard Motorsports) and DJ Kennington (No. 96 for Gaunt Brothers Racing). Unfortunately, two of those drivers will most likely be sent home packing after qualifying occurs on Friday afternoon from ‘Dega.
The rest of the field remains the same driver wise, with some minor sponsor changes tied in. Notable ones include Fitzgerald Glider Kits on Brad Keselowski’s No. 2 Ford, UniFirst on Kasey Kahne’s No. 5 Chevrolet, Skittles on Kyle Busch’s No. 18 Toyota and Share an Ice Cold Coke on Kyle Larson’s No. 42 Chevrolet, among some other changes.
The event can be seen on FOX with the green flag scheduled to fly at approximately 2:20 p.m. ET. The defending winner of the race is Brad Keselowski, who is going for yet another win on a restrictor plate track after winning half the events in 2016.
|1||1||Jamie McMurray||McDonald's $1 Any Size Soft Drink||Chevrolet||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|2||2||Brad Keselowski||Fitzgerald Glider Kits||Ford||Team Penske|
|3||3||Austin Dillon||Dow Intellifresh||Chevrolet||Richard Childress Racing|
|4||4||Kevin Harvick||Jimmy John's||Ford||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|5||5||Kasey Kahne||UniFirst||Chevrolet||Hendrick Motorsports|
|6||6||Trevor Bayne||AdvoCare||Ford||Roush Fenway Racing|
|7||7||Elliott Sadler (i)||Golden Corral||Chevrolet||Tommy Baldwin Racing|
|8||10||Danica Patrick||AspenDental||Ford||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|9||11||Denny Hamlin||FedEx Express||Toyota||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|10||13||Ty Dillon||GEICO||Chevrolet||Germain Racing|
|11||14||Clint Bowyer||Haas-Automation Demo Days||Ford||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|12||15||Joey Gase (i)||Sparks Energy||Chevrolet||Premium Motorsports|
|13||17||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Fifth Third Bank||Ford||Roush Fenway Racing|
|14||18||Kyle Busch||Skittles Red, White, & Blue||Toyota||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|15||19||Daniel Suarez||ARRIS||Toyota||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|16||20||Matt Kenseth||Circle K||Toyota||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|17||21||Ryan Blaney||Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center||Ford||Wood Brothers Racing|
|18||22||Joey Logano||Shell Pennzoil||Ford||Team Penske|
|19||23||Gray Gaulding||SunFrog.com||Toyota||BK Racing|
|20||24||Chase Elliott||TBD||Chevrolet||Hendrick Motorsports|
|21||27||Paul Menard||Valvoline/Menards||Chevrolet||Richard Childress Racing|
|22||31||Ryan Newman||Caterpillar||Chevrolet||Richard Childress Racing|
|23||32||Matt DiBenedetto||EJ Wade Construction||Ford||GO FAS Racing|
|24||33||Jeffrey Earnhardt||TBD||Chevrolet||Circle Sport/TMG|
|25||34||Landon Cassill||Love's Travel Stops||Ford||Front Row Motorsports|
|26||37||Chris Buescher||Bush's Beans||Chevrolet||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|27||38||David Ragan||Camping World/Good Sam||Ford||Front Row Motorsports|
|28||41||Kurt Busch||Haas Automation/Monster Energy||Ford||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|29||42||Kyle Larson||Share an Ice Cold Coke||Chevrolet||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|30||43||Aric Almirola||Fresh From Florida||Ford||Richard Petty Motorsports|
|31||47||AJ Allmendinger||Kroger ClickList||Chevrolet||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|32||48||Jimmie Johnson||Lowe's||Chevrolet||Hendrick Motorsports|
|33||51||Timmy Hill (i)||TBD||Chevrolet||Rick Ware Racing|
|34||55||Reed Sorenson||Xchange of America||Chevrolet||Premium Motorsports|
|35||72||Cole Whitt||RTIC Coolers||Chevrolet||TriStar Motorsports|
|36||75||Brendan Gaughan (i)||Beard Oil Distributing||Chevrolet||Beard Motorsports|
|37||77||Erik Jones||ToyotaCare||Toyota||Furniture Row Racing|
|38||78||Martin Truex Jr.||Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats||Toyota||Furniture Row Racing|
|39||83||Corey Lajoie||Dustless Blasting||Toyota||BK Racing|
|40||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Nationwide||Chevrolet||Hendrick Motorsports|
|41||95||Michael McDowell||Winn-Dixie||Chevrolet||Leavine Family Racing|
|42||96||DJ Kennington||Triad CNC||Toyota||Gaunt Brothers Racing|
About the author
Davey is in his fifth season with Frontstretch and currently serves as a multimedia editor and reporter. He authors the "NASCAR Mailbox" column, spearheads the site's video content and hosts the Frontstretch Podcast weekly. He's covered the K&N Pro Series and ARCA extensively for NASCAR.com and currently serves as an associate producer for SiriusXM NASCAR Radio and production assistant for NBC Sports Washington. Follow him on Twitter @DaveyCenter.
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